December 3, 2017Kilombero Valley, Tanzania—Andy Marshall, a biologist, yanks on the steering wheel of a battered Nissan station wagon and swings it off a track in the Kilombero Valley of southern Tanzania. Rain from the night before has left hubcap-deep puddles across the road. Mr. Marshall downshifts, swerves onto a recently harvested field of sugar cane, and parks on the furrows. The Nissan shudders for an instant before going quiet.The biologist – a researcher on the staffs of the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia and the University of York in England – and three Tanzanian villagers slog a short distance through dirt clods and stubble toward a tall leafy wall of deep green: the Magombera Forest. Cradled at the base of the Udzungwa Mountains, the Magombera is one of the most biologically diverse habitats in Africa. Many large mammals, birds, and reptiles inhabit the emerald woods, including elephants, waterbucks, buffaloes, bush pigs, wart hogs, aardvarks, porcupines, and three monkey species. Marshall himself has discovered a new species of chameleon here: the Kinyongia magomberae. An unusual mixture of East African trees normally not found together shade the forest floor. The canopy towers 100 feet above the ground. Until recently,… Read full this story
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